Question: Post-transition boredom?

Gib asks…

I am pre-T but living as a male, and I’m…. bored. I have a strange nostalgia for how thrilling it was to first wear boxer shorts or to swipe my brother’s deodorant. I was so sure that what I wanted was to be living as a guy, and it’s a little bit frightening to wonder: is that really what I was after?

Has anyone else ever felt this way?

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «

Posted by on February 8th, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 20 comments »

20 Responses to “Question: Post-transition boredom?”

  1. Anonymous

    I know what you mean…kinda. I’ve just set about cruising around differently gendered things, searching for where my identity fits. I don’t know. Mostly I’m scared that I’m doing this as a rebellious thing…being just out of teenager-dom, myself…and I’m still not sure where I fit. Do I need to fit? I feel like I’ve exhausted my roaming space in the land of breaking gender norms assigned to my birth-sex, (at least the ones I wanted to break), and I still don’t feel a strong identification with anything. I feel lost. So I have no answers for you…but good luck with your own living :)


  2. Jen

    Alot of things are like that. When something is new or somewhat secretive it is so exciting, but when it becomes the norm for you it gets kind of old. I felt the same way about getting married. We prepared for it for so long and then it was over in a day and it was deflating. What do we do now? The same thing we do every day, Pinky.

    That feeling will either go away or it will stay. Just be aware of your feelings and don’t be afraid to be fluid.


  3. Nicholas

    If you associate being non-normative gender-expression to excitement, you might find that it fades over time, sure. But if your non-normative gender-expression comes from a deep-seated expression of yourself, your pride and self-esteem shouldn’t take a hit over time. It might not be exciting to look at yourself as a “gender radical”, but you’ll feel good about the choices you made, and won’t look back. :) (But you may look back at yourself in, say, photos, and say “God, what was I thinking back then!?”, but everyone does that!)


  4. Ariel Silvera

    Yes! Totally. This is what I once identified as ‘the coming-out come-down’, back in issue 1 of BoLT Magazine (page 9 The big ‘now what’ sense, as if you’ve stopped growing or exploring. It may not be exactly what you describe, but I can relate to what you write.

    Since I wrote that article, I’ve realised how much more in flux I truly am, or everything is (and admittedly, a further year on hormones has changed my perspective, but your mileage may vary). I said as much in an unpublished submission for Genderfork, about how I spent so long rejecting maleness, in order to realise myself as female, and yet now I feel I can someday re-embrace it in a different context, though for now being a trans lesbian is fine by me.

    Who knows, what it is that you may be ultimately after? But we can only see these things in retrospect, for now, all I can say is don’t lose heart, and keep working towards something that makes you feel comfortable within yourself.


  5. Roxanne

    It happens. That’s why the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) recommends in its standards of care that a person live for a year 24/7 as the target gender before they start HRT or have surgery. It’s better to find out BEFORE the irreversible hormone changes and the cutting starts.


    Sarah Dopp replied:

    @Roxanne Totally fair connection/observation to make, but I just want to add: some people have found that standard of care to be problematic. We support people researching, finding, and discussing their own personal paths.


  6. Jessica

    Ever fall in love? The excitement and the thrill happen fast, hard and temporary… leaving you, if you’re lucky, with a good foundation to build something great. Some people are serial lovers. They love the mating dance, not the long gradual building. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with people like that, except when they fall in love with other people in committed relationships… but they should not get married, not when they’re put together that way.

    Same with any other deep emotional event or process. There is a huge rush at the outset and a thrill a minute for a time, and then you have to wash the dishes and take out the trash. Some people get progressively more extreme in their presentation – they want the thrill of danger and threat of discovery, etc.,… They should take up hang gliding or parachuting. Then the only person usually hurt (if anyone) is themselves.

    And people do change and grow. And if you are honest with yourself and find that your personal transgender experience was a transitional phase in your life – great – nothing bad about that – nothing shameful – nothing to have to apologize for. If that is true, then go ahead on and more power to you. Just don’t forget the lessons you learned when you get back in the cislane. Good luck!


    Adair replied:

    I would love to have a conversation with someone who was looking back on their temporary transgender experience. It would be really cool to have such people knocking about cislane. I wonder how common that is? I’ve not heard of anyone who transitioned and then went all the way back on it, but there’s billions of people whose stories I haven’t heard.


    Jessica replied:

    It happens. I have talked with a couple of people in the past three years who went as far as one can go without surgery or hormones and then either gradually or in one case precipitously went all the way (or at least most of the way back to cishood.

    I read something about two people who went the full transsexual route in both directions, ending up as male.I’d imagine those hormonal calisthenics would really do a number on your body. Can’t be good for one.


  7. Elijah

    If you detransition, it’s fine, if you transition to some other gender identity, it’s fine, whatever you do is fine.

    That said, I’m just wondering whether many other people in the trans community feel this way too. It seems like these days the resources are available more for the younger people, or the people just starting to come out and transition. And that’s great and all, but transition isn’t just like, boom, magic change now you’re done. There are major adjustments to be made – by major I don’t mean OMG EVERYONE IS DYING FJKDLSJLK ROCKS FALLING FROM THE SKY, but more like far-reaching changes that will affect your life very differently from others’.

    Someone on the ftm livejournal group said this once – it’s like how he sees lots of things about how to become the man you want to be, but not enough about having to live with the man you now are. Basically, not making your whole life about transition is a good idea.


    Jessica replied:

    Absolutely 110% correct.


    Tommy replied:

    Well, of course having more easily avaiable info helps people realizing who and what they are earlier.

    If more young people start questioning their gender identity, to me it’s only a good thing.

    It means more people who will be less likely to think that having a body that matches your brain is the automatic and only possible option, it means more people who WON’T destroy a marriage and often a family at 40/50 because they never had the means to realize it before they got pushed and brainwashed into “being the perfect man/woman” by society, it means more young people who will learn that there are others like them, that they are not the only one like them in the world and less likely to consider suicide as the only escape from a painful and unconfortable situation.

    Sure, some people might find out that, after all, they are “just” regular cisgender persons, or atypical cisgender persons, but I think they’ll realize before doing anything serious to their body.

    In my country, you have to be followed by and to gain the consent of a therapist in order to start hrt, and I’m quite sure in other countries it isn’t that much different.
    It’s not like you can “decide to be trans” out of the blue.

    I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t think that trans people could only go from M to F and that you had to be “extremely gay” in order to be “valid”, I could have easily avoided a lot of idiocy and pain and I wouldn’t have tried so hard to be like others wanted me to be “because it’s not like there is any other option”.

    Unfortunately I didn’t know anything about the existence of ANY FtM person in the whole world, so it took me a lot to realize it, and a lot more to admit it to myself.

    And I’m rather young. Not exactly a teen, but I’m still not 20. So I have been EXTREMELY lucky compared to many other transpersons.

    If more young people can be even luckier compared to me, that’s just great! It means someone else won’t have to deal with more crap than necessary.

    I do agree with this:

    “Basically, not making your whole life about transition is a good idea.”

    Though I do understand that it’s not easy when you’re pre-everything and still CAN’T legally do anything about that. I do remember that, and while it didn’t last long, it was hellish.

    Still, if you only think about transition, you will miss your other goals in life. Which are just as important, because no trans people is nor should only defined by “being trans”.


  8. Nazza

    I have opted not to go through transition, but I did feel the sense of excitement you described when I began dressing in women’s clothing. Now, it has faded into a very general sense of satisfaction, though my focus now is quite often on the mundane task of trying to adopt female dress to a male body.

    For me, personally, I quickly recognized that everything grows slightly dull eventually, but that the way I feel now is far more satisfying than the way I felt before. If this is mundane, it’s the best kind to have. If this is dull, I much prefer this version of dull to the way I used to feel about myself.


  9. Gabriel

    I began transitioning last winter and actually stopped when I became really androgynous. I pass as male or female now, and I can relate when you say the little things aren’t so thrilling now — for me it’s makeup, mostly, and ambiguous clothes.

    But there’s also something that’s very comforting about getting into a little more of a groove, if you will. Wearing men’s deodorant may not be exciting anymore, but it’s something you do every day. As you get comfortable with all those signifiers, it frees you up to get excited about new stuff. It’s like learning to ride a tricycle, then a bike with training wheels, and then, well, you know.

    Anyway, don’t feel bad if the mundane doesn’t excite you, because it bores most people too. And if you need some time to think about your gender, keep taking it. I’m really happy I never started hormones, but that’s just my own personal path.


  10. Jack

    I think that you ( and other trans) are lucky to have this experience at all… the newness, the excitement, etc… cis men and women who never question their gender consider their daily routines (ie putting on deoderant) like a normal part of life… going through the motions. I feel like we should count ourselves lucky to even get a chance to be excited about gender and when it becomes less exciting, move forward into new things that create excitement in life.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that it might seem like an implication that something is amiss, but being who you are and doing things that are inherently male or female I guess aren’t really supposed to be exciting events… or at least they aren’t to most people. I’m not trying to offend and I hope I’m making sense. But I just see it as the next natural step… asses your happiness level and comfort level with yourself instead of your excitement level. you can find other activities and things in life that give you that same joy and interest that you had when you first started to transition. If you are happier and more comfortable, you are definitely in the right place. If it isn’t exciting anymore, that’s okay. I’ve been wearing men’s clothing for years and it was fun at first. Now it’s just part of the daily routine, and I’ve found other experiences to give me that exciting rush. But then, I don’t want to spend my whole life ‘transitioning’, either. I want to figure things out, do what I need to do, and then get on to other things in my life. So the whole mundane, typical feeling doesn’t really bother me.

    Again, I hope this makes sense and hope I didn’t offend anyone, as that’s not what I was trying to do. Just trying to offer another opinion.


  11. thesnakegod(dess)

    I think it’s important to be really honest with yourself, and pay attention to your feelings and comfort levels. The fact that you’re asking this question shows that you are.

    It could be that you still want to live as a man, but also crave a sort of gender-bending experience that transitioning had previously provided you. There’s nothing wrong with living as a man and playing some wild and crazy dress up! It could be as simple as that to cure your boredom.


  12. ian c.

    I’ve been living as male for about two years now… no medical interventions yet, and don’t know if that’s ever gonna happen. Sometimes it feels like life is just going along the same as it used to, ordinary times, blah de blah (though I gotta say my ordinary times are pretty fun & I enjoy them a lot!).

    But then I think back to how I was when I was a girl/woman, how I carried myself, acted, talked, was confident or not, presented myself, interacted with other people… and I am so much more psyched about how all those things play out these days: the whole dynamic of my existence has shifted for the positive. I’ve realized that my goal is to just be myself and live an awesome life — it happens that living as a boy works better for me — but “being a boy”, in whatever way I want to think about that, isn’t the be-all & end-all of my life. I have a million other projects and goals that are not directly connected to gender questions. I’ve gotta keep moving the gender things forward… but I also have to keep moving forward with other parts of my life: if I just focused on gender accomplishments, stuff would get boring fast.

    (this is formerly commenter “jean c.” and formerly, for a moment, “gil”! love you genderforkers!!!)


  13. Anonymous

    I am not the topic starter, but I enjoyed every single post on this page and I want to say – thank you, everyone!


  14. Maximillian

    That is me right at this moment, stuck in the real-life experience nonsense and feeling like it’s almost not worth it…


    Jessica replied:

    My partner talks about “the gender obsessed” in the trans community. Once you sort yourself out, gender isn’t really all that interesting in comparison to other things you can do in this life. Unless you make gender your mission in life, transition is interesting, exciting, challenging, satisfying and then, eventually, quite boring.

    Welcome to the human race, the queue forms here.


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